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Old 09-15-2005   #1
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MSN Looking to Buy Into AOL

I just posted about this at my blog.

Apparently, the original "Evil Empire" is talking with the "Federation" - Time Warner has so many partners it may as well be called the Federation - about selling half of AOL and partnering to develop the new portal business model America Online has adopted.

Whould love general opinions on how this one could play out.
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Old 09-15-2005   #2
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If Microsoft did buy AOL, they would be able to have another major venue to display their organic results as well as their PPC model. It would strike a blow to Google as they would lose a major source for their AdWords distribution.

I wonder if Time Warner will really sell though. If they do and Microsoft is able to snatch this property form Google's influence, it would be a good move for sure.

It sure will be interesting to watch these two companies battle it out in the coming months.
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Old 09-15-2005   #3
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I think the proposal is looking at MSN getting half and TW doing a joint venture on this one. Together they could be an interesting mix.... maybe eventually Bill buys TW....
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Old 09-15-2005   #4
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Cool Interesting prospect

It would be interesting to see if Time Warner would sell this much vested interest in their business operations of AOL.

If it does happen, you can look for MSN to really take their Neural Network technology to the next level. I think that MSN is looking for a way to crack into google.com traffic and they feel that doing it at the grass roots (so to speak) may help them in accomplishing this. They would like people to get used to seeing their search results...... If you are a newer Internet user (or an experienced user for that matter) you may be just typing terms into the AOL search bar or typing them into IE. This would help them to at least corner that portion of the market. The next steps would be to make arrangements with other large ISPs for their search technology to be implemented into their default browser bars.

Of course, individuals that download another piece of software onto their computer like the google toolbar or search climbers type technology would be excluded from these arrangements.
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Old 09-15-2005   #5
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Time Warner has been looking to offload AOL for some time now. They are losing money on the proposition and want to go back to their core compentencies.
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Old 09-15-2005   #6
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Exclamation

This are good news and so-so news.

MSN will get a customer base and more technology. As in many merges layoffs follows to avoid duplicity in the workplace. At least my friends from Puerto Rico working at both sides of the fence are worry.

Here is my little spin: The only profitable unit of now bankrupt AOLA is the Puerto Rico unit of AOL, which AOL planned to fully acquire to get something from the crappy AOL venture. Now with this possible move, Microsoft, which has a strong presence in the Island will end owning that unit as well. A domino effect among the little AOL-owned businesses?


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Old 09-15-2005   #7
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Direct shot at Google traffic. Very smart. It's a war and Gates would be making an impressive battlefield move here.
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Old 09-15-2005   #8
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Cool agreed

This is a direct front against Google. Balmer has not been hiding the fact that they would like to compete directly with google.com and beat them down.
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Old 09-20-2005   #9
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MSN and AOL are #3 and #4 respectively behind Yahoo (#2) and Google (#1) in regards to market share.

MSN and AOL combining would only make sense to the both of them if either of them want any shot at the title.

Since the last post I think, Google has already tried to enter talks with AOL abuot a buyout. They would be wise not to underestimate Microsoft's motives.

I forsee an all-out bid war. I want front row on this one.
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Old 09-20-2005   #10
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BTW, Steve Case sold 2.8 million shares of his TWX stock today....roughly 10% of his holdings.

I have a good friend at UBS who thinks that can only mean bad things for AOL Time Warner...
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Old 09-20-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerformanceSEO
BTW, Steve Case sold 2.8 million shares of his TWX stock today....roughly 10% of his holdings.

I have a good friend at UBS who thinks that can only mean bad things for AOL Time Warner...
Not if he was looking for handy cash to drop on MSN...
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Old 09-22-2005   #12
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MSN search : Searching for its way out

Actually i think it's not a good move for MSN , i.e. MSN Search . it may be a good one for the whole Microsoft Company .
"broomd" said ( just typing terms into the AOL search bar or typing them into IE. This would help them to at least corner that portion of the market. ) , i think MSN have to rid of this way in running its business especially in Search service , cz it's not the expanding of my availability in front of the user by merging with AOL is the crucial factor here in adopting search service or not , i think - in my personal opinion - MSN must use all these anount of investment in creating new ways in addition to adopting - with adaptations - of some other current ways ,, not spending in buying new companies ( all my talking regarding search only ) .
again "broomd" (direct front against google ) and "webvisitor" ( direct shot of google traffic ) , sure it's the competetion running out there , but MSN never ask ,,how google and it's mainly a just search service is my monster competetor and MSN is more than just search ? , i think if msn search concenterate in just search indpendently of Microsoft it will make something , but not by the current moves . ( to be cont. )
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Old 09-22-2005   #13
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MSN Search : Reinventing Image NOT Reinventing Wheel

Google is a search tool , not as MSN Network and the company behind with its products allover the world , however , google is the first in market share as "performanceSEO" refers , but the traffic according to alexa google is third , msn 2 ( yahoo 1 # ) and this traffic matter can be understood according to role's variations for each one , this rankings either shows weakness in MSN and Microsoft .
Google made it as an alwayes-in mind choice for internet users when he/she think of searching , MSN search coudn't . one of the reasons is the user ( client ) always love to buy the shoes from the shoes store not from a clothes store , the idea is the specialization and its reflection to the user , and it reflects its satisfaction by the gained results . MSN Search i think it needs reinventing its image ( not just reshaping ) again independently - far extent - of Microsoft , with keeping all its power .
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Old 09-22-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htolaib
Google made it as an alwayes-in mind choice for internet users when he/she think of searching , MSN search coudn't
If what you are saying is that Google has developed a first-to-mind brand with users, you are correct. But you are not correct that MSN couldn't do the same and catch up or even get ahead of Google. If there is any company on this planet that has already developed a brand name and able to move themselves into #1, it's "Microsoft".

Which brings up an idea - what if Microsoft totally re-branded their search? Replacing "MSN" with something like "MicroSearch"? Ok, that name is weak, but you get my point.
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Old 10-13-2005   #15
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This thread should be heated up in days to come. A titanic battle is being waged for AOL. Gates should secure the AOL space at all reasonable cost.
Google Talk would become an orphan and MSN would be assured a top three spot in search for some time to come.
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Old 10-13-2005   #16
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Web, do you have any relevant news links you can post so that we can see what the latest is?

Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2005   #17
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I am seeing coverage all over the net.

Battelle has a nice blog post;
Battellemedia.com
CNN.com is full of related stories.
Or just check here;

http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...-messageboards
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Old 10-13-2005   #18
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Interesting, but I haven't seen anything worthy of recent developments other than Comcasts new hand in the pot.

Here's an article I wrote a few weeks ago for Google Blogoscoped on the topic:
http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2005-09-21-n43.html
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Old 10-13-2005   #19
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Well said in your blog post, the best analysis I've read. As you suggest MSN is the logical choice for TWX.
I have to believe the MSN route is better for the SEM community than the Google/Comcast option. Am I wrong?
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Old 10-14-2005   #20
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I agree that MSN is the logical choice. Not only does it bring them both closer to achieving majority market share, but the Google/Comcast/AOL deal just seems like too many spoons stirring the pot. They are going to have to split the deal 3 ways since TWX seems like they still want majority interest in AOL.

What really interests me is the recent move between MSN and Yahoo to combine their IM's. It seems as if MSN is grabbing at straws to do anything to push out Google.

And personally (I never thought I would say this) I am sort of rooting for MSN. Google's advanced filters ('Sandbox', 'Aging Delays', etc.) are really starting to wear on me as an SEO and I believe only negatively affects their overall user experience. But that's another topic...
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